For most of Sunday’s NFC Championship Game at SoFi Stadium, it looked like the San Francisco 49ers would be heading to Super Bowl LVI in the same venue in two weeks. But looks can be deceiving.
Bouncing back from a 10-point deficit going into the fourth quarter, the Los Angeles Rams snatched that berth away from their Northern California rivals with a 20-17 victory. Balancing its Winter Olympics coverage, NBC will be broadcasting the Super Bowl between the Rams and the Cincinnati Bengals, but Fox and CBS have already proven big winners.
Just more than 50.42 million viewers tuned in for Rams-49ers game, a primetime matchup between the Matthew Stafford-led Rams and the Kyle Shanahan-coached 49ers. That massive number is the accumulation of eyeballs on Fox, Fox Deportes, and on NFL- and Rupert Murdoch-owned streaming platforms. On Fox alone, the game pulled in 50.2 million viewers.
For those of you who love stats, viewership for Sunday’s game hit a stunning 55.2 million peak in the 9:15-9:30 p.m. ET window. Additionally, the game was up 7% compared with Fox’s broadcast of the 2021 NFC Championship Game between Tom Brady and Tampa Bay and the Green Bay Packers.
Heading into the Super Bowl in two weeks, the Rams vs. 49ers face-off is the most watched thing on the small screen since the more than 96 million who watched Super Bowl LV on CBS, plus various other platforms and outlets, on February 7, 2021. Another feather in the Fox cap: Sunday’s Rams-49ers game is the most watched NFC Championship Game since 2014.
CBS Sports’ broadcast of Bengals’ victory over the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday afternoon snagged some big numbers too, with the AFC Championship Game notching about 48 million viewers from 3:03-6:17 p.m. ET, with options on the main network, Paramount+ and more. Cited as the most streamed non-Super Bowl game ever, the Bengals-Chiefs battle helped the ViacomCBS-owned net scored a 13% overall rise over last year. Or translated into eyeballs, CBS Sports grabbed the top spot as the most watched net across the regular NFL season and playoffs with an average audience of 21.05 million.
See ya at the Super Bowl!
Must Read Stories
Subscribe to Deadline Breaking News Alerts and keep your inbox happy.